Crowds were protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and to build momentum to vote President Trump out of the White House.
Women wore white lace collars and black robes to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and red robes and white bonnets to mock the woman expected to take her seat — vivid reminders of the cultural battles playing out in the country and the intensity of emotions escalating in the weeks leading up to the election.
“Keep your laws off my body!” protesters faced off in a tense confrontation with a group of counter protesters at the Supreme Court who had come to support Barrett and oppose abortion.
Nearly four years after an election that galvanized millions of protesters to march in cities nationwide — many of them doing so for the first time — Women’s March leaders hoped to bring a final show of force before Nov. 3 with a rally in the nation’s capital and in 440 marches across all 50 states.
In Houston, Chicago, New York, San Diego and other cities across the nation, people posted photos of events, most, but not all, people wearing masks and standing at a distance in an attempt to gather safely despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers had discouraged participants from traveling to D.C. from states that are on the self-quarantine list, encouraging them to attend local marches or to get involved with its text-a-thon efforts to get out the vote. Nevertheless, some drove from New Jersey, West Virginia, Florida, New York and other states to be at the epicenter of power.
The march took place days before the Senate holds its first vote to confirm Barrett to replace the liberal leader and feminist icon Ginsburg. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on the nomination of Barrett, who would cement the conservative advantage on the court. The Republican majority is expected to approve the nomination.
The march was mostly peaceful, though tensions over the nomination came to a head outside the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon, as marchers confronted several dozen counter protesters chanting Barrett’s initials of “ACB” and holding antiabortion posters. They were quickly drowned out by the several thousand Women’s March attendees, who countered by yelling, “RBG” and “My body, my choice.”
A group of a dozen women dressed as handmaidens, with red dresses and white bonnets, lined up in a row with signs hanging from their necks with the words “Trump Pence OUT NOW!”